Durham resident wants DA investigated

jwise@newsobserver.comAugust 7, 2013 

Leon Stanback

DURHAM DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE

— A Durham resident is calling on the Superior Court to investigate removing District Attorney Leon Stanback from office.

In an affidavit filed in Superior Court Monday, James Michael Lynch claims Stanback has shown willful misconduct and “persistent failure to perform his duties” by disregarding Lynch’s request that he authorize a State Bureau of Investigation probe into the Durham County Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the case.

Lynch alleges that Sheriff Mike Andrews and several deputies “intentionally covered up” the theft of a safe containing more than $17,000 in cash, a handgun and other items from his home on East Geer Street in September 2012.

“The sheriff’s department is investigating that and that investigation is open right now,” Stanback said Wednesday.

“After looking at the facts of the situation, I decided not to proceed further in calling in the SBI ... because I thought it had been handled adequately,” he said.

In his affidavit, Lynch says he contacted the SBI in May about investigating his claims of a cover up and was told the district attorney could authorize the SBI to look into them. Subsequently, though, Stanback refused to meet with him and inspect his “criminal evidence on the Sheriff and his investigators.”

Lynch “has been very persistent,” Stanback said. “He’s called me and talked to me, and I’ve talked to the sheriff’s department and to the SBI about it. “We make a lot of judgment calls every day, and we can’t make everybody happy,” Stanback said.

Lynch also states that Stanback “has made very serious and False accusations about me” to an agent of the SBI.

Gina Mack of the Clerk of Superior Court’s office said she had not heard anything from Stanback and could not say anything about what the court might do in response to the affidavit.

Stanback said he has seen the affidavit but has not been “served with anything.” If he is served, he said, he “may” make a formal response. “That’s all I have to say,” he said.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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